Recently updated on May 16th, 2024

Canine Kidney Disease

As pet owners, we strive to provide the best care for our furry companions, but sometimes health issues can arise, leaving us concerned and unsure of what to do. One such condition that commonly affects dogs is kidney disease. Understanding the signs and symptoms of this illness is crucial for early detection and effective management.

Stages of canine kidney disease

Canine kidney disease often goes unnoticed until a significant portion of kidney function is compromised, emphasizing the importance of early detection. Diagnosis typically involves a thorough examination by a veterinarian, including a complete urinalysis and blood chemistry analysis. However, being aware of the following signs can prompt timely veterinary intervention and potentially improve outcomes for our beloved pets:

12 Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Disease in Dogs

  1. Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss in dogs should always be taken seriously, as it can be indicative of various underlying health issues, including kidney disease.
  2. Physical Weakness: Dogs experiencing kidney problems may exhibit weakness or lethargy, appearing less energetic or reluctant to engage in physical activities.
  3. Increased Thirst and Urine Production: Keep an eye on your dog’s drinking habits and bathroom breaks. Excessive thirst and urination can signal kidney dysfunction.
  4. Blood in Urine: Hematuria, or the presence of blood in the urine, is a concerning symptom that warrants immediate veterinary attention.
  5. Decreased Appetite: Loss of appetite or a sudden disinterest in food can be a red flag for various health issues, including kidney disease.
  6. Bad Breath or Mouth Ulcers: Foul breath or oral ulcers may indicate oral health issues or underlying systemic problems such as kidney disease.
  7. Vomiting or Diarrhea: Persistent vomiting or diarrhea can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, exacerbating kidney problems if left untreated.
  8. Poor Coat: A dull, unkempt coat can be a reflection of an underlying health issue, including kidney disease, affecting the dog’s overall appearance and well-being.
  9. Lethargy: Dogs with kidney disease may appear lethargic or unusually tired, lacking their usual enthusiasm for activities.
  10. Loss of Interest in Play: A noticeable decrease in interest in play or interaction can be a subtle yet significant indicator of health issues, including kidney dysfunction.
  11. Urinary Tract Infections: Recurrent urinary tract infections may be a consequence of compromised kidney function, highlighting the importance of prompt veterinary evaluation.
  12. Anemia: Anemia, characterized by a decrease in red blood cell count, can develop secondary to kidney disease, further complicating the pet’s health status.

Additional Resources For Dogs with Kidney Disease

Chronic Renal Failure in Dogs

How to Feed A Dog With Kidney Disease

Vet Approved Homemade Dog Food Recipes For Kidney Disease:

Tilapia Fried Rice Homemade Dog Food
Great recipe for dogs with kidney disease
Check out this recipe
homemade tilapia fried rice dog food
Homemade Egg Based Dog Food For Kidney Disease
Suitable For Dogs With Kidney Disease
Check out this recipe
egg based homemade dog food

The Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published, “Acute on chronic kidney disease in dogs: Etiology, clinical and clinicopathologic findings, prognostic markers, and survival“, which is a great article for in depth information.

Read about how to Lengthen Survival Time Through Nutrition.


Recognizing these symptoms of kidney disease in dogs and promptly seeking veterinary care can make a significant difference in managing canine kidney disease. Early intervention, dietary modifications, medication, and supportive care can help slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life for affected dogs. Additionally, regular check-ups and preventive measures, such as monitoring water intake and maintaining a healthy diet, are essential for overall canine wellness. As responsible pet owners, staying informed and proactive in addressing our pets’ health needs ensures they lead happy, healthy lives by our side.

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